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6 Unusual Ways in Which Color can Affect our Choices in Life

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6 Unusual Ways in Which Color can Affect our Choices in Life

Color can affect us in great measures. Starting from our mood, emotions, to actions and words – color can significantly affect them, psychologists say. It is well known that certain colors have certain type of effects and meaning, such as white representing innocence, or that blue makes us calm, or that red makes us aggressive, passionate and alert.

However, not everyone believes this. Or not everyone consciously notices this. The whole topic of psychology of color has been a great trick used by marketing agencies, supermarkets, designers and the rest. It certainly paid off for them. And when you think about it, we have been under the influence of color all along. Just think about the clothes you are wearing, your hair color, your house, car and everything else. Aren’t those things in that specific color because you wanted them like that?

Clearly, color has power, both subconsciously and consciously. And, with that in mind, here are 6 unusual ways in which color can affect us.

1. It can make us more confident and sexually attractive

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Rocking a colorful outfit

    Little black dress? Red lipstick? It’s no wonder these two are the staples of beauty and fashion. Black and red have been voted the most confidence-inspiring colors, according to this survey. Both men and women would prefer wearing black to important dates or interviews. According to them, black is the biggest confidence booster.

    However, when it came specifically to first dates, women said they’d rather wear something red as it inspires passion and makes them feel sexy. When it came to men, whether it was a date or anything else, their color preference seemed to be blue, or black. And these were the two colors women liked most on men.

    2. It can determine our buying habits

    Supermarkets’ use of color has been mentioned in the introduction, and now you will see exactly how color affects our buying habits. First of all, the majority of your buys are based on the visual appearance of the product in question. You wouldn’t choose a damaged package over a brand new one, would you?

    Therefore, the physical appearance plays a big role in the retail industry. Moreover, most of the products are red because red “screams”. A product with a red label or packaging will grab your attention faster than any other product because it invites you to look at it.

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    This color works best on impulsive shoppers. Green, on the other hand, is the opposite. It is used in shops in order to relax the buyers. Green is often related to nature and the environment, hence the relaxing effect. Because of this relation to nature, many environmental organisations have a green logo, like Greenpeace, or the Animal Planet Channel.

    3. It can make us make healthier food choices

      As with everything in life, we choose food based on its look. If something is more colorful and bright, it will stand out in our field of view, and we will put all our attention on it. When it comes to food, colorful means healthy. Just think of fruits and vegetables. Each color has its own benefit. For example, orange foods (oranges, carrots, pumpkin) are rich with antioxidants. White foods (garlic, mushrooms, potatoes) are extremely good for your health because they have anti-inflammatory properties.

      Therefore, making your plate a rainbow of food colors is essential for your health. Try to include a fruit or a vegetable at least once per day. And more importantly, if you are a parent, include them in your child’s diet as soon as possible.

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      4. It can make us eat less

      How? Well, where do you usually eat? Probably your kitchen. What if I told you that the color of the kitchen walls, and plates, can affect your food intake. People who eat from red plates, eat less food. Additionally, white plates seem bigger than they actually are; therefore, no matter how much food you put on a white plate, it will seem like it’s never enough. So, white plates make you eat more. If you want to eat less, try blue plates, as blue can suppress your appetite.

      5. It can make us seem more aggressive and intimidating

      Certain shades can have a bad influence on our mood and state of mind. The colors that dominate here are dark ones. Black, navy blue, shades of grey – all of them look authoritative and intimidating. They create the illusion of seriousness and power. That’s why CEOs and other powerful people like wearing dark toned suits.

      Red, however, provokes aggressiveness. Something in our perception of red makes us go wild. Even though it can be a passionate color, it can also be aggressive and over-confident. For example, people who have red cars love to show off and think they have all the power in the world. Also, they attract a lot of attention, which only adds to this feeling.

      Just think of race cars or those classic supercars like Ferrari. They look best in red. When you see one, don’t you just want to jump in and immediately go 0 to 100? It makes your blood boil, doesn’t it? Making red cars was a great strategic move by Ferrari.

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      6. It can help soothe our minds and stay calm

      Meditation

        The opposite of aggression is calmness and peacefulness. Unlike the colors in the previous section, there are some that have a soothing effect on us. For example, the color blue. It represents the sky and sea, the elements that make us calm. Most bedrooms are painted blue for that exact reason.

        Moreover, a lot of office spaces are also blue because it’s believed that it awakens productivity. Another color with these properties is green. It symbolizes serenity and makes us feel close to nature. Additionally, yellow is thought to be an optimistic color. It can make us happy and stimulate our minds.

        These are just some of the biggest ways in which color affects our lives without us even realizing it. It’s quite interesting when you think about it, as a lot of animals don’t see the world of color that we have in our heads.

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        More by this author

        Ivan Dimitrijevic

        Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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        Last Updated on July 20, 2021

        How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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        How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

        You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

        Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

        Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

        Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

        1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

        According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

        “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

        Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

        Warming up

        If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

        If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

        Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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        1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
        2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
        3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

        Stay hydrated

        Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

        To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

        Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

        Meditate

        Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

        Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

        Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

        Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

        2. Focus on your goal

        One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

        Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

        Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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        Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

        If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

        3. Convert negativity to positivity

        There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

        ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

        It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

        Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

        Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

        Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

        4. Understand your content

        Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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        However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

        “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

        Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

        Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

        One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

        5. Practice makes perfect

        Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

        In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

        Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

        6. Be authentic

        There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

        Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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        Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

        To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

        With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

        Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

        7. Post speech evaluation

        Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

        Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

        We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

        You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

        Improve your next speech

        As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

        Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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        • How did I do?
        • Are there any areas for improvement?
        • Did I sound or look stressed?
        • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
        • Was I saying “um” too often?
        • How was the flow of the speech?

        Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

        If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

        Reference

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